Sri Lanka Tourism launches Home Stay program
To supplement the demand for accommodation at various tourist
destinations in the island, Sri Lanka Tourism launched the Home Stay and
Bungalow program recently.
Sri Lanka Tourism has recognised 1-5 star class hotels, guest houses,
Ayurveda hotels, eco lodges, apartment hotels, boutique villas and
hotels, and camping sites.
Commenting on the Home Stay and Bungalow program, Chairman Sri Lanka
Tourism said "This is a different approach to provide clean, comfortable
and affordable supplementary accommodation to tourists.
They will have an opportunity of an engaging experience of customs,
traditions, authentic cuisine and other attractions of the location,
while staying with the local host, giving them a memorable experience
during their holiday; and it will help us to reinforce one of our key
pillars in positioning, the 'authenticity' of our tourism product".
Home Stay and Bungalows once approved by the Standards and Quality
Assurance division of Sri Lanka Tourism will be duly publicised.
An accommodation guide listing all registered Home Stay properties
and Bungalows will be issued to enable both domestic and foreign
tourists to avail themselves of this facility.
The objectives of the program are to provide accreditation to the
Home Stay and Bungalow category, broaden the stakeholders base in
tourism, expand the benefits of tourism to the community, as well as to
support the demand for supplementary accommodation in urban areas, and
provide employment and economic benefits to the local community.
Sri Lanka received 654,000 tourists in 2010. This figure is expected
to go up to 750,000 in 2011. The Home Stay and Bungalow program is
expected to generate about 1000-1500 rooms immediately.
Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena
said "The Mahinda Chinthana has clearly identified that benefits of all
economic development will have to go to the common people. The Home Stay
program will enable the community to get directly involved in the
tourism industry and derive its benefits, and will further enable us to
take tourism to a higher level of success".
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority(SLTDA)has come out with
criteria to inspect and register such establishments and all required
information can either be collected from the Quality Assurance division
or downloaded from www.sltds.gov.lk.
Commenting on the new scheme Dileep Mudadeniya, Head of Standards &
Quality Assurance and Investment said: "New rooms which are under
construction will take another 2 years to come to the market. But we
have untapped potential for Home Stays and Bungalows that can be turned
immediately into accommodation units to meet the immediate demand.
Further, this is a well known accommodation category in Europe, and
even in India, and our visitors are familiar with the concept.'' While
any private house in good condition with owners occupying the same house
and located in an easily accessible part of the country will primarily
qualify to register as a Home Stay unit, unoccupied houses with
cooking/meals (and other guest service) facilities are categorized as
Bungalows. The house shall fulfil the minimum requirements of the Home
Stay scheme including having one or more rooms for accommodation, with
each room having separate attached bathroom facilities.
Interested parties are at liberty to submit fresh proposals for
approval for setting up Home Stay/Bungalow units in suitable locations,
under the supervision of Sri Lanka Tourism.
As part of the program Sri Lanka Tourism will also be providing a
training for all Bungalow and Home Stay owners covering areas such as
on-line marketing, house keeping, cooking with focus on guest
satisfaction, kitchen hygiene, storage of food, garbage disposal,
preparation of authentic cuisine, emergencies etc .
Etisalat has come forward to promote and distribute this concept via
a dedicated portal. "In the current context, online medium has by passed
many traditional channels and real world barriers reaching the global
customer at a minimal cost.
Home-stay portal will enable local property owners to market their
home-stay online and attract the potential tourist just with a click. In
the long run, we are aiming at providing knowledge to them which will
help them in improving their services and standards.
Our vision and mission had always been geared towards extending
people's reach via advanced technologies. I strongly believe that this
initiative will be a success and we are delighted and honoured to be
part of this initiative to empower Sri Lanka tourism sector to be the
wonder of Asia" said Dumindra Rathnayaka, CEO Etisalat Sri Lanka.
Regional Development Bank ( RDB ) has come forward to provide limited
loan assistance for the concept. Commenting on the program Ms. Janaki
Kuruppu, Chairperson of the RDB said "At RDB we believe in Empowering
Sri Lankans" to achieve economic development of their families.
We are the only 100% GoSL owned bank serving the real SME sector,
with a reach of over 200 service points in rural Sri Lanka alone.
We are always on the lookout for ventures that will appeal to our
We feel the type of household that will go for this "Home Stay"
concept will be very much within the reach of our customer base and will
be a great opportunity for them. This is the only way that the country's
macro economic growth can be shared with the common people."
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) invites all Sri
Lankans who have well located, attractive and suitable bungalows and
homes, with minimum required standards, in various parts of the Island
to come and register with Sri Lanka Tourism. Issued by Sri Lanka Tourism
For more information and clarifications: Dileep Mudadeniya Head of
Standards, Quality Assurance & Investments, Legal and Special Projects.
[email protected] Tel -0112380944 Fax- 0112426986